It will be a surprise to many people, but around 6.9 million UK citizens of working age have a tdisability. That sums up to a whopping 19% of the total population, or one in five individuals. But the percentage of disabled sports coaches is 6%, with only 2% being qualified since 2009. For addressing such discrepancies, BBC approached three disability sports coaches and discussed both signs of progress made and yet to get done in this much talked about field.
Jack Edgar – Confidence is the key
He heads the Sport for Confidence organisation in Essex, which offers sports coaching to people suffering from learning and physical disabilities as well as mental illness. This group functions in collaboration with healthcare, leisure and sports experts and aims to develop both social and physical skills of their athletes. They are also trying to rope in people suffering from handicap as coaches. For instance, Donna Robinson, a perky young lady who has cerebral palsy is volunteering to help out others. She attended the Pathway to Coaching program which helped her out in getting the right kind of knowledge for fulfilling her boccia coaching goals.
Bisi Imafidon – Now or never
This 50-year-old Newham school manager also conducts goalball, running, basketball, swimming and boccia coaching to name a few. While working with a bank, she decided to turn her attention to sports coaching. After getting her first running coaching qualification in 2009, this enthusiastic lady had no looking back. Backed by supportive session members, she completed one coaching course after another. This hula-hooping enthusiast specialises in dealing with mental health. According to her, one need not be sporty to be active. She believes that hula-hooping as a sport bridges the gap between disability and non-disability and sport and non-sport.
Anna Jackson – Dreaming with Hoops
This wheelchair basketball pro paid 70 times for the team before retiring in 2008. This tennis and hockey enthusiast always liked helping others in sports. But very soon she started having knee problems which forced her to give up sports. But as they say, when there is will, there is a way. Anna soon discovered wheelchair basketball, and since then she had been enticed by it. This life changing sport paved her way into the coaching scene where she implemented the knowledge learned from other sports forms.